STAINS – Unpicking the Emotional Tapestry of Self-Reflection


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for BROCKHAMPTON's STAINS at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Greyhound Journey: A Metaphor for Growth
  5. Turning the Volume Down: The Critique of Repetition in Art
  6. The Throes of Addiction: Coming to Terms With a Harsh Reality
  7. Love and Liquor: The Internal Storm of Stress and Solace
  8. A Crown of Thorns: The Weight of Potential and Expectation

Lyrics

I spent like a year and a half on the Greyhound bus
On the way to see this girl
Take a flight back just to keep my job
Used to fly standby, late to the airport
Where the buddy pass? Stuck in the traffic
Whole lotta hours, real long distance
But I’ve grown since then
Learned to be on my own since then
Marble floor in my brand new crib
This the life that I wanted still
Got a hole and it burn my chest
Mash the chip that’s still in my shoulder
Ain’t a day that I still been sober
These the things that I’m tripping over (Y’all motherfuckers made 3 albums)

Still talking about the same shit
The one gay, the one selling drugs
The one that’s tryna act like Lil Wayne
What the fuck is this shit man?
Y’all better turn this shit off when y’all get in the whip
When y’all enter my whip y’all better not play this shit
‘Cause this can go right the fuck off

Now them boys hooked on heroin
Parents always asking like, “Where y’all get it from?”
Rehab poppin’ like when Amy had the single out
Single out the reasons how I quit before I fell down
I used to pick Ameer up, talk about what’s got us fucked up
We vent ’til the sun up (ay), hopefully get our funds up (ay)
And if I didn’t know y’all maybe y’all would have a desk job
Ticking ’till I off myself
Used to drive around for some hours (oh, ohhh)
Used to get paid by the hour (oh, ohhh)
Now I’m just pickin up a check (oh, ohhh)
Now I’m just pickin up a sweat (yeah)
Used to drive around for some hours (oh, ohhh)
Circle round the block for some hours (oh, ohhh)
Now I’m just pickin up a check (oh, ohhh)
Now I’m just pickin up a sweat (yeah)

Be there any minute, I’ll be on it in it baby
Be there any minute, I’ll be on it in it baby
Be there any minute, I’ll be on it in it baby
Be there any minute, I’ll be on it in it baby

I spent like a year and a half feeling sorry for myself
‘Cause I thought love ain’t make sense anymore
If I drank, you would probably see a fifth on the floor
And a hole in the door, rest a few more
Scared of the past I’ve been tryna avoid from before I was born
Running from the shoes that my grandfathers wore
Tryna pick a better battle, but I saw I’d win the war
Feel the sun in my pores but I still got clouds in my head, now
Rain for a little bit, stay for a little bit
Moved along with my head, down
That’s what momma taught me and I never let them fuck me
When they handed me a dead king’s crown
Told ’em think of what you doing before I’m the one you’re choosing
I just wanna be a human when I share myself
Hear the things I’m saying and I scare myself, goddamn

Be there any minute, I’ll be on it in it baby
Be there any minute, I’ll be on it in it baby
Be there any minute, I’ll be on it in it baby
Be there any minute, I’ll be on it in it baby
Be there any minute, I’ll be on it in it baby
Be there any minute, I’ll be on it in it baby
Be there any minute, I’ll be on it in it baby
Be there any minute, I’ll be on it in it baby

Full Lyrics

In the realm of contemporary music, few acts manage to blend vulnerability with catchy beats as seamlessly as BROCKHAMPTON. Within their diverse discography, ‘STAINS’ stands out as a track that effortlessly weaves personal struggles with the thread of universal themes. This song is an intricate fabric of reflection, ambition, and the bittersweet taste of growth.

What may seem like an ensemble of personal anecdotes is actually a profound statement on the human condition, a peek into the diary of souls dealing with the complexities of change, fame, and the pursuit of happiness. ‘STAINS’ emerges not just as a song, but as a repository of raw human emotion set to a hip-hop beat.

The Greyhound Journey: A Metaphor for Growth

The opening lines of ‘STAINS’ serve as more than just a literal recount of traveling woes—they represent a journey. A journey not just in miles across the American landscape, but a pathway through life’s trials and tribulations. The artist’s commute between the throes of love and the demands of a career is emblematic of the sacrifices and choices we are all confronted with.

It’s about the evolution from hardship to luxury, a transition from marble-less floors to ‘marble floors in my brand new crib.’ Yet, despite the success, the ‘hole’ that ‘burn[s] my chest’ and the chip on the artist’s shoulder are testaments to the notion that success doesn’t erase past pains or vanquish inner demons.

Turning the Volume Down: The Critique of Repetition in Art

A brooding introspection hangs heavy as the lyrics call out the monotony within BROCKHAMPTON’s own content. The critical glare turns inward, confronting the critique that perhaps all there is, is ‘the one gay, the one selling drugs, the one that’s tryna act like Lil Wayne.’ It’s a bold statement on self-awareness and artistic stagnation—a calling to challenge the status quo of their work.

This self-reflective condemnation is a nod to the struggle any artist faces in the quest for freshness and authenticity. It’s a moment of reckoning, with the voice projecting the frustration of the listener, reminding us that evolution in art is as necessary as it is in life.

The Throes of Addiction: Coming to Terms With a Harsh Reality

The song casts a stark light on the theme of addiction, particularly the opioid crisis that has ravaged many lives. ‘Now them boys hooked on heroin’ is a jarring line that brings us face to face with the dark underbelly of addiction, often hidden from public discourse, resonating a poignant message of contemporary societal issues.

Here, BROCKHAMPTON isn’t just confessional, they are societal mirrors, reflecting the pain of those caught in the web of substance abuse. The mention of Amy Winehouse’s ‘single out’ is a weighty reference to lost talent and the tragic cost of fame, adding layers of depth to the track’s canvas.

Love and Liquor: The Internal Storm of Stress and Solace

Diving into the tumultuous sea of love, the lyrics articulate a sense of loss and the accompanying coping mechanisms. There’s raw honesty in admitting that ‘love ain’t make sense anymore,’ and the visual of ‘a fifth on the floor and a hole in the door’ powerfully captures the distress that comes with heartbreak. The imageries of self-destruction and escape expose a deeply personal struggle.

But it’s not just about the painful present; there’s a grappling with the historical weight of generational trauma—’Running from the shoes that my grandfathers wore.’ The track becomes an effort to break free from inherited patterns, to fight for a different, perhaps happier outcome against deeply ingrained behaviors.

A Crown of Thorns: The Weight of Potential and Expectation

As the song nears its end, the theme of potentiality turns into a bittersweet acknowledgment of the burdens it can bring. Being bequeathed a ‘dead king’s crown’ implies inheriting a legacy that is as much a privilege as it is a source of immense pressure. There’s a cautionary plea in the song that beseeches thoughtfulness before choosing paths.

Wanting simply ‘to be a human’ amidst the chaos becomes an almost radical act of defiance. The song resonates with anyone who has experienced the daunting prospects of being something more, and the societal pressure that accompanies success. It’s a reminder that amidst the clamor to become kings and queens, what we crave most is to embrace our humanity.

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